Cypress Hill’s first album in eight years, Elephants on Acid, will be released Sept. 28, but the Latino-American crew have given listeners a taste of the record by dropping its first single, “Band of Gypsies.”
The album was produced by the group’s co-founder, Muggs, whose sonic architecture provided the foundation of early Cypress Hill music, like their self-titled 1991 debut and 1993’s Black Sunday.
The woozy, psychedelic vibe of “Band of Gypsies” is fed by Middle Eastern vocals and instrumentation. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Muggs spoke of recruiting street musicians while holding recording sessions in Egypt, which explains the distinctive sounds of the oud and sitar one hears on the song. You can listen to "Band of Gypsies" below.
“We seen somebody that was good and we just get him to come into the studio, pay him, and let him come in ... and play," Muggs said.
He also brought in Egyptian dance music artists Sadat and Alaa Fifty Cent to sing the song’s hook.
The release of “Band of Gypsies” comes on the same day Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Sen Dog announced they have signed a deal with BMG to release Elephants on Acid.
It’s a busy time for B-Real, who is also in the rock-rap group Prophets of Rage with fellow MC Chuck D and the instrumental nexus from Rage Against the Machine. Prophets just released a new single, “Heart Afire,” from their as-yet-untitled second album which, according to bassist Tim Commerford, is nearing completion.
Prophets of Rage were scheduled to tour with metal band Avenged Sevenfold this summer, but the tour was canceled when that band’s singer M. Shadows was brought down by a serious vocal cord issue.